We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“disappointing”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Kims Beachside Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Toowoon Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Blue Mountains National Park, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“disappointing”
Reviewed 26 December 2013

Having stayed at Kims on three occasions and also dined with them as casuals; my Partner and I decided to book again as casuals for Christmas Day dinner together with my sister and her husband. The booking was made on boxing Day 2012; a year in advance. As you can imagine, we were very much looking forward to it. Whilst stating we appreciated that their house guests would take priority over the casual diners, we requested a window table if at all possible. So we were surprised to find on the night that while the dining room was not full, we were seated at the rear of the restaurant when a window opportunity may well have been possible. Even if this was not the case, a courteous reference to our request either way would have been a show of hospitable care and professional good faith.
Perhaps it was an oversight on our part not to have enquired as to what would be on the menu on Christmas Day 2013. However, in our defence, it was a Christmas Day Dinner we were booking which is UNIVERSALLY understood to be as a special day of the year. Therefore it never occurred to us that it would NOT offer - at least in part - some TRADITIONAL Christmas Day main course and dessert menu options. Where was the hot Roast Turkey OR warm Glazed Ham OR Roast Pork apple sauce and crackling in the hot buffet section? Instead, there were various "casserole" style options along with some cold cuts of turkey, beef, lamb and various salad items, sambals and condiments and cheeses. Whilst the Seafood on offer including Prawns, Oysters and Sashimi were very good quality it did not and could not compensate for the HUGE omission of at least one Traditional Hot Christmas Dinner Option. We were then staggered to find that the dessert options were a cold Macadamia Tart with whipped cream and a selection of sorbets/ice-creams.There were some mini Fruit Mince Tarts and Christmas Cake. No Christmas Pudding was a bitter disappointment. The service was flat and joyless and uninformed. My sister asked the waitress if there were any wines offered that did not contain preservative 220, further explaining that there was no problem with wines containing sulphates. Preservative free and natural wines are quite common these days with many wine makers and sommeliers' committed to providing quality natural and preservative free options. Again, I concede we ought perhaps have asked in advance if there was such an option available. But this omission on our part does not negate the fact that the staff did not know either way when asked. We then requested that the waitress find out for us. She returned promptly to say "no, there aren't any." When politely questioned if she had actually asked she replied she had "asked the big boss' and they said no". We then kindly asked if she would mind looking at a couple of bottles herself as their list was large and therefore it was possible some did not sate "contains preservative 220." Bingo; there was a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir suitable. This did not send a message of care from management and we strongly suspect that our original request to check the bottles offered by the glass was not carried out. Had it been, the Chardonnay or Pinot Noir would have been offered upon her return. Further, the table service was hurried and cold. The plates were being arbitararily removed with no grace nor regard to the others still eating. Finally... the coffee.
Three short blacks arrived in demitasse cups without a saucer.
Also, I was asked if we had been to Kims before; once when booking, and again by the host when we entered the dining room. Not Good. We are veterans of the hospitality industry with some 70 years combined between us. Awarded a SMH Good Food Guide Chefs Hat four times, winning multiple statewide and national awards for excellence from Restaurant & Catering Association and; a one Glass Rating from Gourmet wine Magazine wine list of the year awards for five consecutive years, so we do understand the challenges of meeting the expectations of clients. Addressing client enquiries professionally and with grace is a basic hospitality ethic as is a genuine attempt to meet reasonable client expectations of which we consider our expectation of one traditional hot Christmas dinner option and Christmas pudding on Christmas day to be a reasonable example to this.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 462beach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementKims, General Manager at Kims Beachside Retreat, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
We are very disappointed with your review and I have listed below details on Christmas at Kims. We feature information and a copy of our Christmas Day Luncheon information on our website for twelve months prior to Christmas Day each year.

Your review clearly shows that you were more interested in our Christmas Day Lunch affair when all the traditional food is featured. As most of our guests are staying with us during Christmas it would not be correct to offer them the same menu at both lunch and dinner.

From your telephone call to me recently you advised that your family all enjoyed their dinner with us, however you were not expecting a buffet. I apologise that we did not meet with your expectations, we try very hard to present to our guests a quality buffet table featuring a large variety that changes daily. All tables in the restaurant and balcony have a view of the ocean and the tables for two along the very front of the restaurant were occupied and do not accommodate a table for 8 people.

We appreciate your comments on the wine and coffee service and will use this to improve the training of our staff.

The dinner menu on Christmas evening featured a selection of seafood and sashimi, baked Spring Bay black mussels with almond and garlic cream, braised pork belly with shitake mushrooms, fresh dates and Chinese cabbage, Lamb Rogan Josh served with mango chutney, tamarind chutney and chili lemon chutney, a selection vegetarian dishes and a variety of salads, cold cuts, freshly baked bread, Macadamia nut and caramel tart, cheese boards, ice-cream and sorbets, Kims Christmas cake and fruit mince pies.

We have a long tradition of professional hospitality service and an amazing product that we have run for over one hundred years and shared with many holiday makers throughout that time. We also find it very unfortunate that we cannot meet all requests or expectations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

306 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    189
    74
    34
    4
    5
See reviews for
8
249
2
1
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (101)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2013

Just had the one night at Kim's and having also been to Wolgan Valley this year I was keen to compare. I was almost embarrassed to think I hadn't been there previously. The setting including the main building for dining and the gardens are out of this world and at times it felt like I was at some secret Hawaiian private bay. Our room (a beach-side bungalow) was spacious,clean and practical. The food was magnificent with incredibly fresh seafood (especially the sashimi) and the desserts were out of this world. The variety on offer was superb.

THE LETDOWN - on many occasions the service was quite poor. The older staff in particular seem jaded and disinterested - from our brief history tour on the way to our room to the dining experience. Food was just slopped onto the plate with disdain and around- the-table service very intrusive and impersonal. Plates were regularly removed mid-mouthful and certainly without regard if anyone else at the table was still eating. The speed and gusto with which you were asked for your bungalow no. when ordering extras made you feel that everyone was paranoid that they might miss out on the $3.50 for a coffee - lacking polished discretion. This occurred at all 3 meals so I feel it wasn't just a bad day. it is the curse of Australian staff and has been for years. Wolgan Valley had the same problem. It's almost as if the staff have a chip on their shoulder about you being there. I would like to stress that the little interaction we had with younger staff they displayed good humour and enthusiasm.

All of this is will hopefully be taken on board because it is such a magnificent destination and we enjoyed ourselves sooooo much that it always rankles a little more when the higher priced venues can't quite finish things off with what would seem to be the obvious polish that one would expect. I have no doubt I will return .

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementKims, General Manager at Kims Beachside Retreat, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
We are pleased that you felt as though you had stepped onto your own private secret Hawaiian bay. We are delighted that you also enjoyed your absolute beachfront room, our fresh seafood, delicious desserts and superb variety.
We are disappointed to review your comments on service and we are sorry that this let down your stay. We always pride ourselves on the service provided by our staff and we generally receive such lovely comments about our team. We certainly appreciate your feedback and have shared your dining experience with our senior staff, as we hope this will assist them in the showing the careful, friendly service they so lovingly and often provide. Be assured that we will utilize your comments in fine tuning the training of our staff.
Thank you again and we look forward to you returning to our magnificent destination.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 December 2013

Recently returned from a lovely two night stay over at Kims Beach Hideaway. My wife and I have been returning once or twice a year since our honeymoon there 15 years ago. Nothing has changed,and that is the beauty of Kims. Whilst you are very well looked after,you are also left alone. It is quiet,tranquil and relaxing. A perfect location for walking,reading and recharging those run down batteries. Because it's only a 90 minute drive from Sydney there's no airport hassle to deal with for us. Once you pull into the private car park and walk into that oasis you can't help but relax. All you have to worry about is what to choose to eat. The food has always been amazing with the emphasis on quality ingredients. Honestly , in all the times I've been into that restaurant I've never,ever been disappointed . The selection is amazing. It's been a few weeks but I still close my eyes and think of Rum BaBa and coconut ice cream !
The management and staff are relaxed but efficient and nothing is ever too much trouble.
It is always sad to leave and return to reality and we always look forward to returning. When we travel to other places,and some of them are pretty good , we often find ourselves looking at each other and saying " not as good as Kims " !

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fec4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementKims, General Manager at Kims Beachside Retreat, responded to this review, 4 January 2014
We are very appreciative of your lovely review and thank you for the kind words. We are delighted that you enjoyed another two night stay. We hope that you are able to continue to “taste” the Rum BaBa and Coconut Ice Cream until your next visit. We very much enjoyed your comment: “not as good as Kims”! Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you in 2014.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

The minute you enter the Pine Tree walkway at Kims, you are transported to a different world. Your shoulders relax, you exhale, and a smile spreads across your face, there is no where else in the world you would rather be, and there is no where else you have to go. Kims ticks all the boxes for us. Beautiful location, right on the beach with fantastic, gentle swimming conditions, right in front of the resort and a reef further out for the surfers. Amazing food, all laid out for you, (the seafood and cheeses being my favourite) a great wine list and the cocktail lounge made us the best Margaritas we have had! The accommodation is luxurious, spotlessly clean, and impeccably maintained. Our favourite is the beachfront bungalows, where you go to sleep to the sounds of the ocean and awake to a magnificent sunrise, that you don't even have to get out of bed for. My screensaver is a picture of a Kim's sunrise. The linen and towels are of beautiful quality and have a lovely subtle fresh laundered scent,that I wish I had at home. The service is warm friendly and professional. You are made to feel that you are a very special guest, the Managers and staff know you are there for a well earned rest and do everything they can to make your stay a very pleasurable one. Believe me it is worth every cent, once visited you will want to go again and again…I can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: All rooms are great. We like staying right on the beach, so the Beach Bungalows are our favourite.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AvSkyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementKims, General Manager at Kims Beachside Retreat, responded to this review, 24 December 2013
Thank you. We feel so blessed that you conveyed your feelings so descriptively and beautifully in your review. We are very pleased that you enjoyed every aspect of Kims from the moment you arrived and found the total experience perfect. Your comments are something we will proudly read again and again, and we have displayed them on our notice boards for all to see. Love the thought that your smart phone screensaver is a sunrise at Kims. Visit again soon as we too look forward to welcoming you back for another relaxing and pleasurable escape.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 December 2013

Yesterday we went to Kims for Christmas function for tennis club We were told there was seafood and buffet style roasts sweets etc for cost of $60 a head we had 8 attend

On arrival place is stunning beach views spectacular On approaching the buffet all you could see is one roast and helper cooks one piece of fish at a time some sort of gem fish not bad not all that great when asked couldn't tell what fish it was
We could not see any seafood as told all I could see mostly was lots of sweets we asked where all the seafood was and manager came over and said no way would you have been told that there was seafood more or less suggested we were liars... as if we could have gone all the way to have a lambs no wonder we were the only ones in the restaurant

I thought she was rude to us as well I never complain but was a ripoff for what was there yesterday

I have heard it is magnificent in the past but gone down hill as one of the ladies there said used to be fabulous
at that time of year only ones in restaurant week out of Christmas probably says it all

The waitresses and kitchen staff were really really lovely couldn't fault there lovely personalities but the meal was worth no more than $20

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sharyn882013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementKims, General Manager at Kims Beachside Retreat, responded to this review, 16 December 2013
We are very proud of our buffet meals, they always offer fresh quality product with plenty of choice. We are sorry that you did not enjoy your lunch and that your expectation was we provided cold seafood on our lunch buffets. We certainly try to ensure that when you make a booking with us you are clearly advise the menu on offer and it is disappointing that sometimes people who dine with us do confuse the food choices on each meal. Our menus are extensive and the on the day you visited some of the items served included: Gazpacho soup, fresh asparagus with béarnaise sauce, avocado with raspberry vinaigrette, roast Mudgee lamb, local sweeplip fish, vegetable and salad selection, freshly baked breads, large dessert selection (this is the main feature of the lunch buffet) including the mouthwatering chocolate profiteroles, homemade ice-cream and sorbets, cheese boards with seven cheeses. The main feature on our evening buffet is a large selection of cold seafood and sashimi. When we realized that you were not happy with the menu we did give you an option of rescheduling your booking to an evening. Food is an integral part of the Kims experience and so thoroughly enjoyed by the majority of our guests. The selection offered provides choices for all people and we cater to any dietary needs. Again we are sorry that you did not enjoy your lunch day with us and hope you return to enjoy dinner one night.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
103 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013 via mobile

We had heard so much about Kims and were amazed that they had sustained such a great reputation over so many years. We had to try it out, so we booked for our 15th anniversary.

The day we arrived was pretty wet and windy, but we were welcomed in for lunch. Kims gives you breakfast lunch and dinner in the tariff, even if you are only staying for a day (you can have lunch before you check in or after you check out - pretty cool). We were taken to our table, and you get to "keep" your table for the duration of the time you are there (although you can request to book an outside table if the weather permits).

Lunch was beautiful and I was impressed that they saved some cost for us by suggesting that we order a bottle of wine, have the couple of glasses we wanted, and they would seal the bottle and refrigerate it for us to finish at dinner - which we did.

The rooms are stunning - beautifully appointed, spacious and impressive. We booked a beachfront room (the Long Beach Room) which was adjacent to the restaurant but very quiet. We settled down in the comfortable chairs in the sun room looking out at the beach, and it was so tempting we went for a long walk on the semi-private beach. The rain had stopped, and although it was still a bit windy and cool, it was still lovely.

Prior to dinner we had a drink in the bar where a pianist was playing great music, and he even did a request for us as we enjoyed our cocktails. Dinner was magic. Entrees were excellent, especially some mussels in a lovely sauce. The mains were magic. Four choices and if my conscience and my waistline had not spoken, I would have sampled all 4. As it was we each had a taste of each other's different choices. Dessert again was plentiful and impressive.

The beds are comfortable, service is quietly efficient, and overall it is just an excellent experience.

It's not cheap to stay there, but in view of 3 great meals and fantastic accommodation, it is well worth every cent for a special occasion with a special person. We're converted. Kims reputation is well-earned.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementKims, General Manager at Kims Beachside Retreat, responded to this review, 24 November 2013
Thank you for your review and we are delighted that you had a fabulous 15th Wedding Anniversary with us and found the whole experience excellent. We are pleased that you enjoyed the food and our beautiful restaurant. How wonderful that you were able to take a long walk on what, we also see as our “private” beach. We are glad that you found your room, Long Beach, spacious, impressive and quiet with a very comfortable bed with ocean views. It is fantastic that you felt your special occasion visit was worth every cent and that you were able to spend quality time together. We look forward to welcoming you both again soon and we truly appreciated your lovely comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NZ
Level Contributor
45 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2013 via mobile

Have just returned from 5 nights at Kim's Beach and I must say I was sad to leave. The food and service were absolutely fantastic - we felt like we were being cared for in someone's home. The surroundings are beautiful. I was attending a leadership development program and unfortunately didn't get much down time to relax. However the environment was just what we needed to get away from the city and the typical daily treadmill and reflect. The rooms were great - but the highlight is definitely the food and the service. Our group (of 8) looked forward to every meal and relished the freshness, variety and quality. Homemade butter, breads, jams and chutneys give you an idea! Not to mention the decadent ice creams and sorbets - I would return to Kim's for coconut sorbet alone! Thank you Km's - I will always remember this week and will definitely be back for a personal trip with my loved ones!

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Greenfieldsontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementKims, General Manager at Kims Beachside Retreat, responded to this review, 27 November 2013
We are truly thrilled that you enjoyed your recent week long stay with us. It is a saying of ours to those sad to leave “you must depart so that you can look forward to returning again” and something we also boost is; “your first visit is only the first of many”. From your fabulous review we know that you enjoyed your Kims experience and for that we are grateful. We appreciate your comments on our beautiful environment, food, accommodation and service and will proudly display a copy of your comments for our staff, most especially our wonderful Chef’s whom lovingly prepare our home baked items including our own Coconut Sorbet. Remember us fondly and return shortly for another memorable visit.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Toowoon Bay
6.8 mi away
Crowne Plaza
Crowne Plaza
#1 of 6 in Terrigal
4.0 of 5 bubbles 976 reviews
6.7 mi away
Terrigal Pacific Coastal Retreat
3.6 mi away
Pullman Magenta Shores Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.4 mi away
Oaks Waterfront Resort The Entrance
0.7 mi away
Ocean Front Motel
Ocean Front Motel
#3 of 9 in The Entrance
4.0 of 5 bubbles 152 reviews
0.3 mi away
Toowoon Bay Holiday Park
Toowoon Bay Holiday Park
#1 of 2 in Toowoon Bay
4.0 of 5 bubbles 139 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Kims Beachside Retreat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Kims Beachside Retreat

Property: Kims Beachside Retreat
Address: 16 Charlton Street | PO Box 1, Toowoon Bay, New South Wales 2261, Australia (Formerly Kims Beach Hideaway)
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Toowoon Bay
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Toowoon Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Kims Beachside Retreat 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kims Beach Hideaway is located right on the beach with absolute ocean views and just over an hours drive north of Kims. Accommodation is in individual timber lodges with a seperate restaurant and cocktail lounge. Meals are included in most packages and served buffet style. Kims in adults only and a Small Luxury Hotel of the World. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Travel Republic (UK), TripOnline SA, Priceline, Booking.com and Traveltool, S.L.U. so you can book your Kims Beachside Retreat reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Kims Beach Hideaway Hotel Toowoon Bay
Kims Beach Hideaway Wyong

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing